Mondays get a bad rap. Most people dread the thought of five grueling work days til responsibility disappears for a precious 48 hours.
But some of us love Mondays. And what’s not to love? Monday Night Football, National Bench Press Day, and a chance to kick the week in the ass first thing with an awesome training session.
When you make fitness a priority, every week is an opportunity to self-evaluate and adjust. You glance at last week’s training log or review your dietary choices from the weekend and see where you did well and how you could do better. Progress may not come on a daily basis, but if you’re not getting better week by week, it’s time to make a change.
Sometimes, motivation is hard to come by. We all get it from different places. Right now, I’m proud to say I’m insanely motivated for my next powerlifting meet in November. I’m seven weeks out, so every training day counts.
But there will be bumps in the road. I’ll have to cut weight down to the 181 class. I’ll have to balance lifting with work and school during one of the busiest times of the year. And my lifting partner just moved half way across the country.
So it wasn’t surprising when I didn’t feel the same spark when I packed my bag for the gym this morning. I had to find something within myself to create that same drive when the external motivators were lacking.
One of my favorite ways to stay motivated is to look at old photos or training footage of myself. It’s like a personal highlight reel to remind me of all the times I’ve been successful.
Last week, when I didn’t feel like doing my conditioning, I looked back at this photo:
I took this picture last year on Halloween, the only day it snowed on Long Island all year. We got pounded with snow (by New York standards – hardly a dusting back home in Vermont) but I was scheduled to do my last Prowler session before my powerlifting meet. So while everyone else hunkered down inside, I was out on the turf hating life.
It’s easy for someone else to create motivational content for you, but when YOU create YOUR OWN motivation, it can’t be beat. You’ll never have a lack of drive if you can learn to reach within yourself and pull it out whenever you need it.
From now on, every time I’m looking for an excuse to avoid my conditioning, I’ll look at the above photo. It will remind me that if I can get psyched up to push the Prowler in the freezing cold one week out from a powerlifting meet, there’s surely no excuse to dog it when conditions are more ideal.
I encourage everyone to take video of your best lifts or to snap pictures during a training session to save for later – to remind yourself of how great you CAN be when you’re not feeling it.
With summer over and fall creeping in, how will you stay motivated?